Bea Valdes’ 'FLUX' Exhibit Showcases The Beauty of The Creative Experience
The word “flux” perfectly encapsulates the second solo exhibition of artist and designer Bea Valdes as it aptly conveys the continuous flowing and evolution of art.
It’s a common perception that the work of an artist’s hands ends with a polished and finished artwork. But for designer Bea Valdes, the whole creative process, from the starting point to the final product, is art in itself.
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Staging her second solo exhibit since 2008, Valdes beautifully pays tribute to the hard work behind a masterpiece.
“[FLUX] is an ode to the process. I think a lot of the work that we’ve done has been about the finished piece but we really wanted people to see what it takes by going behind and going through it. This is almost like our daily experience of making things and things coming apart and trying to do revisions. We find that the whole process or the whole journey is a part of the artwork,” Valdes ruminates.
Valdes’ range of experience from designing jewelry, bags, clothes, home décor and large scale installations certainly enabled her to appreciate the end-to-end process of the creative work. Her celebrated works have been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, CNN, British Vogue and more, adding validation to her already impressive oeuvre.
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For her to offer paean to the crucial but often overlooked pains and difficulties of the creative process—like conceptualizing, revising, stitching, hard work, and a lot more—is a testament to how self-aware she is of the importance of every step before arriving at a “gallery-ready” piece.
“Since most of the things that we do are polished and finished, we thought the fact that maybe we can free ourselves from a structure or from a canvas and take the pieces with all of the stitches exposed will really offer an experience,” she began.
“I think the idea of it was really based on a lot of starting points that we’ve had before. We’ve been doing large scale commissioned work recently, and what I find was when you do large-scale work, you can’t do mock-up of the whole thing. A lot of the times, we do small details and I keep saying it could be a limb or a body of work of the proposed site. Last year, we found a few patterns and we strung them up on the workshop and for us, even though they were starting points, they were on different and various stages of decay or falling apart and we thought that they’re still actually full of meaning for us and we found this really beautiful,” Valdes continued.
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Valdes speaks of FLUX pieces with the “starting points” in mind. As an artist, she sees and appreciates the value of beginnings, almost as if it’s a metaphor for life.
“These are complete even if they are what most people think of as initial sketches and studies. For us, they were full of meaning and just as powerful as the accomplished things. It’s starting points, but a lot of the starting points come at the end of something else. Not just for this installation, but life in general. It’s just an essay about that—how things never really finish and it’s just continued in different ways. It’s very organic,” she said.
Evident in the pieces featured on FLUX, Valdes and her team focused on white—setting colors aside.
“We thought that as it is a starting point, we should keep it as blank and as clean and as pristine as possible. The elements that really play against it are light and the way someone walks through it. It’s experiential. It’s something that you can just be inside of instead of just looking at. I guess, for us, because it’s about the process and being inside of it, we found a way to translate it,” Valdes explained.
Valdes is looking forward to seeing how the artworks will be perceived in her second solo exhibit.
“People will see different things and that for me, as an artist, and my team is intriguing because people have different perspectives,” she stated.
Though FLUX is mainly about the creative process, the designer is also paying tribute to the team she works with.
“The thing is, everything that I do is about the team behind it. When I was a child, I was working alone but throughout the body of work I’ve done, it’s only gotten larger and larger teams. The great thing about doing things at this is scale is you can’t do it alone. I work with a team. For them to come together and be able to believe in the same idea and then help you fashion it in a way that it has this experience they can give to everybody is a great thing,” Valdes concluded.
FLUX is on view from June 1 to July 6, 2019 alongside The Quality of Sunlight is a Filter Through Which Our Thoughts and Feelings Pass by Catalina Africa at SILVERLENS, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org via (0917)5874011.
Photos by Paul del Rosario